The A’s have already gotten great value from Howard, a 40K senior sign from Texas Christian University in 2017. He has been an excellent performer early in his career, flying to Double-A by the end of his first full pro season in 2018. Back in the Texas League to start this year, he was named to the circuit’s mid-season all-star game after a strong first half for Midland.
None of Howard’s pitches are plus, but the unique angle created by his 6-foot-9 frame is tough on hitters. He also has above-average control for someone this height, with moving parts in the delivery that add deception. The fastball works at 88-to-92 mph, backed by a high-80s cutter that grades as his most effective pitch. Howard rounds out his arsenal with a usable curveball and developing changeup. Howard’s prospect value is tied to his floor more than ceiling, but he checks the boxes of a lesser backend starter or mopup/long relief type that soaks up low leverage innings.